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October 16 Debconf6 meeting


First and foremost: I owe a big apology to you all. In fact, two big
apologies. I have not been at the two last meetings, and specially
this last meeting, I know many people were expecting my

As the first point in my mail: Please, please, pretty pretty
please... Can we change the meeting schedule? In the August meeting,
by majority, the meetings are now the third Sunday of each month, at
19:00 UTC. That's 14:00 on Mexican time - The worst possible time for
a Sunday. I would really prefer having the meetings any regular
workday, at any time... But if it _must_ be on a weekend, could it at
least be some three or four hours earlier? That would really help me. 
Although... Well, I'd really prefer having it in a workday, as we
worked for Debconf5. My excuse is not the greatest one, I know,
but... Well, Sunday is for me sometimes the only day I can go with the
family, have some free time. And, really, I need it. This time,
Sergio's SMS caught me 2hr away from Mexico (~45 minutes past Oaxtepec
;-) ). I suppose more than one person is quite pissed off at me (I
know for certain that one is _really_ pissed ;-) )

Ok, now... As I talked earlier with Andreas, I am sending this mail to
answer anything that seems I could add information from the
log. Although he sent me the log (and twice), I didn't get it - I got
a good portion of this log from Zarathustra... But it is only a
partial log. If somebody can send me the log after the first hour,
please do so. Or put it somewhere online :) 

Regarding the CfP: Well... I think we can send out the CfP now. I
would like waiting a bit for it. I am finishing with a couple of
projects that have ate my time in the most nasty possible way, and now
I am retaking Comas (after basically no work since July). If we can
hold the CfP for two more weeks, it will be the best for me. Why?
Because there are important changes I want to make in Comas that will
make it much more flexible, and I can have it ready by then - At least
the most basic things. 

What am I adding? Comas' main shortcoming is, IMHO, the rigid database
layout it has. Adding a field or two to persons seems quite easy, but
its quite troublesome. Besides, we envisioned Comas to be as generic
as possible, able to work in an Application Service Provider
way. Right now, every Comas instance existing in a Webserver must use
the same data structure. And that is plain stupid, in hindsight :-(
. I have the new scheme laid out already, but I still have to
implement it. If you want to help with this, please contact me. That
can be a very good help.

Regarding moving Debconf because of Linuxtag: Well... It _is_ an
important conference, where Debian (speficically German-speaking
Debian) has always had an important presence. However, it is not easy
to move Debconf - I already confirmed the reservation dates with the
Oaxtepec people. It _could_ be moved, yes, but I would avoid it if I
could, as it can be a political problem, and we want the best possible
relationship with Oaxtepec. Besides, if we are planning starting
Debcamp on April 29, Debconf proper would start on the 6/7th. Having
many Europeans together, we could even have a Debian packed
transatlantic flight. It might be quite cheaper.

ASCIIGirl: I wouldn't mind pushing it one week or two forward if it is
because of the elections (they are on July 2). Believe me, I cannot
plan politic unrest ;-) 

sTone_heAd: I don't think we would have pricing diferencies. 

Stockholm: I think Comas helps us still a lot during the early CfP
period: People should send their material to a trustable location. How
else would you plan getting the proposals? I hope you don't suggest
doing it by mail ;-)

Regarding the Comas setup time: Don't worry. It's quick. Even with
Comas in the state it is now, I can set up quite easily a Comas server
to start receiving registrations - Right now, we need only a small
subset of fields, so it should not be very complex.

Now: I have a good enough server at my university. If we choose to
host separately Comas and the website. It could be good that I have
physical access to the Comas server...

Tincho: Grow up and use a real database ;-)

Regarding Comas/Website integration: Well... Up to now, Comas has
handled plain-text passwords. And that's clearly not a feature, but
bug. I can keep it like that, but I would prefer storing only MD5s. We
could share _sessions_ between Comas and the website. Now,
besides... Do we need to make the website accounts visible for
everybody? Wouldn't it be better to have most of the content generated
by people specifically allowed to do so, with possibly a Wiki-type
structure (with public access) inside? That would save us from this
multiple identification stuff. Historically, how many people really
used Drupal for DC5? DC4? 

H01ger: I agree on requiring https for any authenticated access to
Comas/website/whatever. Public information, however, can perfectly
travel on cleartext.

Regarding the hosting details: We _do_ need shell access, and we _do_
need PostgreSQL access. MySQL just won't do. I can set up Comas in my
server, which has nice specs... I could also host the debconf.org
website - but I cannot offer shell access to more than a couple of
people. (I don't remember exactly... But I think Andreas told me we
did get the complete control?) Anyway, I would really prefer having
root in the Comas server - Wolf was a great admin this year, but
sometimes it was hard finding him. 

And... Well, that's as far as I could get. The last lines from the log
I got was where pixelgirl started talking about posters/proceedings/etc.

Greetings - And, honest, sorry-sorry-sorry again.

Gunnar Wolf - gwolf@gwolf.org - (+52-55)1451-2244 / 5623-0154
PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
Fingerprint: 0C79 D2D1 2C4E 9CE4 5973  F800 D80E F35A 8BB5 27AF

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